Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.
The Kneecap (Patella) and Knee Joint
The kneecap (patella) is a small triangular bone. It is just one of the many parts that make up the knee joint. Some of the other parts are muscles, ligaments, and leg bones. The kneecap provides leverage for your muscles as they bend and straighten the leg. It also protects the knee joint.
The Kneecap Up Close
Take a closer look at this small bone to see how it works.
From the front, you can see the
kneecap's slightly rounded, shield-like shape.
From the back, you can see cartilage. This is tough tissue that covers the bone. It helps the kneecap slide easily against the thighbone.
From the top, you can see that the kneecap sits in a groove or "track" in the thighbone.
A closer view of the kneecap shows the difference between the smooth cartilage and the rougher bone beneath.